State divided over Premier's border decision

PIC: 7News

The State is divided after the Premier delayed the re-opening of WA's hard border.

Just 16 days before WA was due to open to the world, Mark McGowan pushed back the date, amid concerns over the impact of the Omicron variant.

He said more children need to be vaccinated and more adults need a booster jab before he considers quarantine free travel into the State.

"Unfortunately, the world changed in December when Omicron arrived," Mr McGowan said.

"It would be irresponsible and reckless for the State Government to ignore the facts and ignore the reality of the situation playing out on the east coast.

"Allowing a wave of Omicron cases to fly straight into Perth from February 5, with no testing, no quarantine and no public health measures would cause a flood of the disease across our State."

The Premier is yet to set a new re-opening date but said he'd like to see WA reach an "80 or 90 per cent" triple dose vaccination rate.

Currently, 25.8 per cent of West Australians aged over 16 have received their third dose.

From February 5, the hard border will remain but some restrictions will be eased for approved travellers to enter WA or leave the State and return.

The exemption criteria includes returning Western Australians with strong recent connections or direct family connections with WA, compassionate grounds including funerals and terminally ill visitation and people who need urgent and essential medical treatment.

Those travellers must be triple vaccinated if eligible or double dosed vaccinated if not eligible for the third dose.

They must also return a negative pre-departure Rapid Antigen Test, self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and undergo PCR testing within 48 hours of arrival and on day 12 of self-quarantine.

Mr McGowan said he will review the border controls over the next month.

"A decision on further easing of the new hard border controls will be made in the near future - once the east coast has reached the peak of infection, and we have a better understanding of the true impact of Omicron," Mr McGowan said.

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